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Do you feel dizzy with the avalanche of social media material that lands on your computer every day? I do. I get pop-ups appearing uninvited, requests from people I’ve never heard of, multiple emails from a website I showed a vague interest in months ago, plus so much more!

In a world where everyone seems to be getting more and more connected online, many of my coaching clients tell me that they feel hugely disconnected. They miss good old face-to-face conversation. They miss people looking up to say good morning at the bus stop, they miss chatting around the lunch table at work, they miss interaction with their children.

Teenagers tell me that they struggle to focus and concentrate on school work because of the constant distractions demanding their quick attention.

It is now a known fact that young friends get cross with one another if a reply is not received immediately. On a daily basis, our kids live with the fear of missing out on group chats and thus being isolated.

Other customers, many of whom are business owners, bemoan the battle to get noticed on the internet. With over one billion websites and trillions of snippets of information there is so much noise, so much material, so many marketers competing for our attention! A common complaint is that people suffer more than ever from the debilitating state of overwhelm, which can lead to high levels of stress and cause damage to both the body and the mind.

I was disturbed, but not surprised, to read recent research which shows that Facebook posts promoting frustration, envy, lust or anger get the most attention. So what are we feeding ourselves?  Is it hurtful or helpful to our mental state?

Just because we are connected to something online, doesn’t mean that it is what’s best for us or our children. Most web algorithms today are based on what is trending and often the lowest common denominator of user preference wins, which means content that doesn’t require much thought, trivial posts, meaningless tips, or laughing at someone else’s faults become popular.

And as we all know, just because something is popular that doesn’t necessarily mean it is good for us.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows that after basic shelter, food and care, human beings yearn to belong. We see it in our children when they want to be part of a group. Unfortunately, in our digital world, a lot of kids and adults feel isolated. Although they may appear to have many ‘friends’ on Facebook, the total number of close, genuine, caring friends can often be counted on one hand.

In an effort to promote community and true, honest, genuine connections, I started a women’s group earlier this year. Once a month, I invite a local business owner or friend of mine to share their inspiring story with the group; I encourage the ladies who attend to openly communicate, swap phone numbers, find shared interests and support one another. I have personally met everyone on my mailing list and it is the way I will continue to grow my business.

We live in a first world country and are blessed with comfortable lives, but therein may lie a problem.

The comfort zone in which we live, can actually be a really uncomfortable, unfulfilling, lonely place to be.

I would like to challenge you to consciously connect. Really think about which websites attract your attention. Make an effort to connect with organisations that are striving to make a positive difference in our world. Share meaningful, uplifting content with your connections. Maybe then, we will see more social justice pop-ups and charity promotions. We may even feel re-energised about the internet. By living a life that is emotionally and spiritually rich, we can have a positive influence on others and encourage them to join us in creating a more caring, consciously connected world.

Are you sharing something meaningful every day? Let us know below!

Image source Shutterstock.

  • You can “unlike” people that you don’t wish to chat to.
    If you don’t want them to see what is on your wall or what you have written to others you can “block” them.

    Reply

  • I think social media can be quite frightening at times. Thank you for the article.

    Reply

  • The only people I chat with online are those who are overseas or in another state. I prefer to talk face to face. Though I must admit that I talk to my best friend on facebook to organise the best time to visit. It saves us from having to race in to answer the phone

    Reply

  • I much prefer to connect with people in real life. I do that with my best and closest friends. My FB connections and interactions are more with people that live far away.


    • Facebook is great for keeping in touch with friends overseas, you are right. Sounds like you have the perfect balance, enjoying face to face chats with friends who live nearby.
      Anne

    Reply

  • When I look for people to meet I don’t do that via social media, emails or internet. I go out to the school, shop, church or where ever I go and take the time to engage and make contact with people.


    • Good on you! And I bet the people you connect with really appreciate it. Thanks for sharing.
      Anne

    Reply

  • Great article – thank you and I hope it helps people out there. I don’t do social media and won’t as it seems to bring so many people such hurt.


    • I’m glad you enjoyed the article, thanks. Anne

    Reply

  • A great article and good timing for a reminder to stay connected to what matters.

    Reply

  • What a great article.
    That sounds like a wonderful group


    • Thank you! Sometimes it is easier to create what you are looking for, rather than wasting time waiting for it to come along!
      Anne

    Reply

  • What a fabulous women’s group you have started!! :-)


    • Thank you! I think the ladies that come along benefit enormously from it. We meet in Manly Vale, NSW so if you are local feel free to join us.
      Anne

    Reply

  • With emails provided they have got the correct link you can “unsubscribe”
    Facebook – you can block indiviuals or companies etc, including some of the ads that appear on the main part of the page. Suggestions on the right side you can delete. I’m not sure if you can block them or not.


    • Unsubscribe is a great tool, thanks for the reminder. It’s worth clearing a few out every month!
      Anne

    Reply

  • what I find a worry is if you are looking at something like a pair of winter shoes and suddenly on other websites this one included on the side of the page are adverts for the winter shoes you were looking at. I think it is all linked up together and there is no more privacy.


    • I think we would all be shocked to discover how much information google has about our preferences. Nothing is sacred!
      Anne

    Reply

  • My connections are all positive and I do not engage in any negative networks.


    • I share meaningful content with family and friends. Meaningful content means different things to all people and I also respect other people and their connections.



      • Good on you! I love facebook for connecting with family and friends overseas.
        Anne


      • I love Facebook too and it is brilliant for keeping connections strong and for maintaining friendships/relationships.

    Reply

  • I don’t spend much time on the internet. When I do it’s only on sites I always go on. Spam emails are a pain but I usually cope with them one way or another


    • Sounds like you’ve got a nice balance, well done!
      Anne

    Reply

  • I am on the computer when I have free time and it’s a form of enjoyment for me. I am mindful of the sites I look at, and ignore the “rubbish”. I too get lots of unsolicited emails but have learnt to block them, and fortunately this seems to work. I am not on social media and do not own a mobile phone. My peeve is watching people, no matter where they are (be it on the street, in shops, at venues), totally absorbed in their device to the point that they are not aware of their surroundings, or using their device as a way of not interacting with others. Very sad in my opinion.


    • Social media has definitely had an impact on good old conversation! Thanks for sharing.
      Anne

    Reply

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